29 October 2014
Bennelong MP John Alexander had his skin checked in Parliament this week – as part of Pollie Skin Check Day. Mr Alexander joined politicians from all over Australia who stripped down last Tuesday to have their skin checked by visiting skin specialists in Canberra.
He said the skin check only took 5 minutes and could prevent him becoming one of 2000 people who die every year from skin cancer. “Skin cancer is a significant national health issue and treatment for skin cancer costs tax payers alone more than $300 million annually,” Mr Alexander said.
“Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70 and nearly 2000 people die every year from skin cancer, particularly melanomas.
“Yet two in three, or 64 per cent, of Australians did not get their skin checked by a healthcare professional in the past 12 months.
“I took part in the Know Your Own Skin Campaign to encourage Bennelong residents to have their skin checked regularly – because awareness, prevention and early diagnosis can help to save money and lives.” The Know Your Own Skin Campaign has been developed by leading experts to encourage people to check their skin at the start of each season for sun damage and then ask their local GP for a skin check during their next visit.
Simple skin checks can help detect changes in skin, helping to save lives. Clinical data shows one in two Australians will develop a sun spot (solar keratoses) on their skin which may lead to skin cancer if not detected and treated early. Two in three Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70.
Mr Alexander said it was important for Bennelong residents to know their own skin – as well as their partner’s skin, their children’s skin, their mates’ skin and their parents’ skin.
“By looking out for each other and checking our skin each month, we can avoid the heartache caused when melanomas, left too long without treatment, result in the death of a loved one,” Mr Alexander said.
“Locals should see their doctor if they notice marks on their skin become red or inflamed, are painful, itchy, bleeding, feel like sandpaper or change in size, colour or shape.”
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